Why Every Traveler Should Experience a Japanese Ryokan

A ryokan is a traditional Japanese guest house, created to provide travelers with a place to rest, eat, and rejuvenate themselves on their journey. The concept dates back to 1600, and is still thriving today. Not much has changed in terms of what was traditionally offered: a spacious lobby, public baths, a kaiseki meal, and a room to sleep with tatsimi mats and shoji panels. But while ryokans were once popular around Japan and an inexpensive place to stay the night, the few that survive today offer a much fancier experience and look into Japanese culture for travelers.

Why I Fell In Love With Tulum

You don't often hear about The Yucatan Peninsula being on anyone's bucket list place. But after my weekend in Tulum, I think it should be on the top of the list for anyone looking for culture, adventure. and a small, cool beach town. If you’re not interested in passing the day away in a hammock with a cold coconut and good book, extraordinary Mayan Ruins and several fresh-water cenotes are just a short drive from the main town. Every resort on the beach offers kite-surfing lessons, and yoga classes throughout the day, and the main road has shops full of unique goods from local designers. It's baby Bali, only three hours from Manhattan! 

My Experience at The Colony Hotel

I booked The Colony Hotel for my four nights in Seminyak based on recommendations from other travelers, Trip Advisor reviews, and because it looked gorgeous. I always prefer for a boutique hotel becauseI like the attention to detail and care that comes with a smaller property. My trips are not sponsored, this review is based on my experience and opinions. 

Four Magic Days in Ubud

Ubud is why you travel to Bali. Rice terraces, ancient temples, volcanos, a jungle full of wild monkeys, streets lined with yoga studios, spas, and healthy restaurants serving the most delicious and beautiful food you could imagine. Right in the middle of the island, I consider Ubud Bali's beating heart. Ubud is relaxed, unpretentious, and chaotically beautiful.  This is not a place to party - it’s a place to meditate, contemplate, grow, explore, and learn. 

Tips for Planning Your First Trip to Bali

I took this trip with my best friend! We came to experience the culture, have some beach time, and immerse ourselves in all things Indonesian. We didn't come to surf, and we definitely didn't come to party. Our ideal evening consists of an amazing dinner, long walk, and a trip to an ice cream spot. So if that’s the kind of experience you want - then here’s my thoughts on the places I saw, what I’d recommend, and what I’d avoid. 

A Visual Feast of Bali

Bali has the most beautiful food of any country I've ever visited. To make things even better - it's all insanely healthy. Chia seeds galore, gluten-free everything, every dish stocked with super foods, and it all tastes amazing! Menus say things like our house mylk is coconut and all dishes are available vegan. It's a plant-based, whole-food heaven.

Plan More Thoughtful Travel

I believe it's important to plan your travel thoughtfully. Instead of just using your two weeks to fly to a resort where your friends have recently gone, or to a place you saw in a magazine - consider what are you wanting to achieve over your lifetime of vacation days. There are all different types of trips to take, so here are ideas that will lead to you being a more well-rounded traveler and provide some experiences you may never have thought about having.

DIY Travel Souvenirs: Seashell Trinket Dish

I had never done this before, so maybe it was beginners luck but it was SO simple and they turned out beautifully. All the materials cost about $15 and I was done with the whole project in 3 hours! So here's a step-by-step guide to do this to your favorite finds on the beach. 

Gift Guide for a Wanderluster

Not sure what to buy your girl who’s always on the go? There are tons of holiday gift guides out there, but I want to share a few outside-the-box ideas that you won't see anywhere else. 

We travelers have very specific needs, and since we’re always saving money for our next plane ticket, travel essentials often go un-purchased. We're also wanderers - we love anything dreamy, magical, and one-of-a-kind. So from practical to just plain fun; and stocking stuffers to splurge-items, here’s a list of things that any wanderluster would love to find under the tree!